A divorce does not have to be the end of your love life. That’s when dating comes to the rescue. A divorce can leave you emotionally battered, and just the thought of investing so much time and energy in a new relationship can feel exhausting. If you’re even considering giving yourself another chance at love, you could use some tips for dating after divorce.
The first order of business to revive your love life is to get rid of stereotypical notions like marriage is supposed to be the ultimate source of happiness, love, and security. And those who have failed to commit to the rules of marriage and broken the sacred vows need to spend the rest of their life in repentance.
Wrong. What people fail to realize is that sometimes, it is not the individuals who fail, but the institution of marriage that fails us. And who said that you don’t deserve another shot at finding happiness, with another person? That’s why some tips for dating after divorce can be helpful to rebuild your rosy love life again.
But before that, the real question that bugs the divorcees is how long they should wait before dating.
How Long Should I Wait After Divorce Before Dating Someone?
Before we talk about tips for dating after divorce, let us get this out of the way. Honestly, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The period after the divorce is for self-reflection and healing. I mean, no one wants to plunge headlong into another relationship right after breaking from one. And this is a broken marriage we’re talking about, and so the toll is higher.
You have to ask, “Am I ready for a new relationship after divorce? Only you can decide when it’s time to take the plunge. Surely, you need to heal from the scars of your marriage and the emotional and psychological energy you invested in it.
Dating after divorce is not as easy as you think. Experts usually prescribe a two-year time period for healing. Use that time to find who you are and what you want and get yourself in order. You can take as much time you want, but don’t wait for too long.
Meanwhile, you can take a look at these few signs that will help you know if you’re ready for dating:
- Looking forward to dating: The very thought of dating surprisingly makes you happy. You look forward to it and are happy that you’re giving yourself a second chance
- You check out potential partners: Although you say no to dating, you have secretly started making a checklist of qualities you want in your next partner. Whether you observe him or her in a café, or as a colleague in your workplace, you start noticing them
- Over your ex: You bump into your ex at a mall or come across a post about her on social media. You aren’t angry or jealous. You are amazed to know that the murderous rage and hatred you once felt has just died down
- Sexual desire: The thought of uninhibited sex with someone has started ruling your thoughts. You can’t help it
- You develop a crush: You meet someone you can’t stop thinking about, maybe at a friend’s party or on a dating portal, and you exclaim, “Oh my god! He is so attractive. I would like to date him!
Before you join back in the race, there are a few things you need to keep in your mind.
Related Reading: Dating In Your 40s – 15 Tips To Do It Right
12 Tips For Dating After Divorce
Getting back into the dating game is not that easy. You are used to having a spouse. The whole game of dating once again makes it unsettling, especially when you are in the mid-30s and 40s. Although it makes you young and wild all over again, with the butterflies come terrible bouts of anxiety and worry. It can feel like going on a first date all over again.
“Will she call?” “What will he think of me?” “How am I ever going to make sense of this dating world today?” These and a number of other questions can weigh divorcees’ minds day and night.
To make sure you get Cupid’s attention fair and nice, here are 12 of the best tips for dating after divorce that will make sure the arrow strikes:
1. Feel the fear but go for it anyway
It’s okay to have your share of doubts and terrors, but they won’t pass until you date someone. If the fear is about betrayal or failure, then you just handled a big one and came out all right. So, meet people, go to parties, and chat on dating websites, all the while holding your fears at bay.
2. Don’t give in too soon
You went on a date and nothing happened. No sparks flew. You easily jumped to the conclusion – “This is not going to work.” But what if you really had some fun, if not some sizzling chemistry right away? Go on a few more dates before giving up and try your best to make it a successful date.
3. Drop the negative thoughts
This is one of the most significant tips of dating again after a divorce. Relationship experts advise that negative thoughts like “all men are bad” or “all good men are taken” is a terrible setback. You need to have the right mindset if you really want to be happy and dating again. Being optimistic removes self-doubt and prepares you mentally for dating again.
4. Learn to be okay when things don’t work out
In spite of your positive outlook and repeated dating, the relationship might not work out. One of the tips for dating after divorce is constantly knowing that not every date will help you meet someone you could fall in love with.
You should be calm and open-minded to failures too. Set your expectations low and count each date as a new window into your own self as well as a chance to know another person. Keep it casual and easy and do not dive into expectations too soon.
5. Don’t rush. Text, but don’t overdo it
There are many rules of texting while dating. Too much texting and calling can lead to quick intimacy. And what if it’s the wrong person? You don’t want to take that path so soon, do you?
One of the tips for dating after divorce is reining in your feelings and your texting game too. You don’t want to bombard people with energy and affection when you are still testing the waters.
6. Go online!
Relationship coach Dr Kirschner says, “Online dating is not only mainstream, but it’s also one of the best ways to widen your search, rather than just hoping that you’ll meet someone in the coffee shop.” There are a number of dating sites like eHarmony, Tinder, and OkCupid that you can explore to find suitable matches.
7. Don’t let children stop you
When it comes to women, they mostly use children as an excuse to not date. Don’t do that. If you really want to date, then children shouldn’t be an issue. After all, they too want their parents to be happy.
8. Don’t make dating the ‘everything’
While dating, it is equally important that you enjoy your own life. Travel places, join your favorite clubs and check items off your wish list. This stops you from putting that pressure on dating as the only roadmap to healing and happiness.
9. Don’t bring up the ex topic
Mentioning your ex is one thing but talking about them relentlessly is a major spoiler that will hamper your dating game. And it’s definitely not good dating etiquette. Make a list of cool topics beforehand to ask your date. For example: If you were given 30 days to travel the world where will you go? Or, Do you believe that dreams come true?
10. Talk with other divorcees
It is greatly comforting and insightful. Those who date can give you a first-hand experience of what to expect and what mistakes to avoid. You’ll be astounded to hear their second-time-in-love stories. Their stories will motivate you.
Related Reading: Dating For Marriage? 11 Important Things You Should Be Prepared For
11. Know your worth and stick to it
Being divorced doesn’t power down your value. It’s the opposite – you’re stronger than most, having survived a stormy marriage. So, do not compromise on your expectations from your date.
Be sure of what kind of partner you want – eager to share responsibilities, loves kids, doesn’t mind cooking – and stick to it. Be open-minded but also know where to draw the line. You have already experienced enough to know what is good for you. Do not settle for less.
12. Love yourself
And watch the rest of them falling in love with you. Before you open doors for someone else to love you, you’ve got to wake up loving yourself. Here’s a simple trick you can practise – make a list of all the things you’re good at and how you’re going to get better at it.
You might want to date immediately after a divorce or might wait several years to date, that’s your choice. But whenever you step into the game, make sure you’re a ‘new’ you – more wise, confident and lovable. Go out there and have fun! Even if you fail to secure your Cupid’s arrow, don’t hold back.
There are more ways to finding love than dating alone! So go ahead, and charm some hearts!
It absolutely can. There is no right or wrong way to go about these things. It depends on the situation, your headspace and who you are dating. Your first relationship after divorce could last or you might be meant to explore more until you find someone who truly cares about you.
It can be a little nerve wracking but it does not have to be hard at all. A divorce should not impede you from having fun or falling in love. As long as you are confident and know what you want, nothing can stop you.
Take your time to get adjusted to your new lifestyle. Understand yourself and your priorities. Once you are more confident, tell a friend to set you up or get on dating apps to spice up your dating life again.